Apartment Puerta del Mar – Málaga
Málaga is a bustling and vibrant city, hosting numerous fiestas and celebrations throughout the year; not least the infamous ‘Feria’ in August, when the Historic Centre is turned into a week-long street party with thousands of litres of Cartojal (a sweet Málaga wine solely for the Feria) consumed in large quantities and invariably spilt on the pavement. Concerts and other events are also held at the ‘Palacio de Congresos’ fairground on the outskirts of the city. The fair commemorates the re-conquest of the city by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1487 and traditionally runs from Saturday to Saturday on the third week in August.
For many years overshadowed by its more well-known neighbours of Granada, Cordoba and Seville and used only as a gateway by tourists bound for the beaches of the adjoining Costa del Sol, Málaga is a city steeped in its own culture and history. The arrival of colossal cruise liners and associated passengers has merely served to increase the popularity and cosmopolitan feel of the city.
Its centrepiece is the grand gothic cathedral “La Manquita” (The One-Armed Lady) so called due to the unfinished nature of its south tower – which has become a monument to the diversion of funds to finish it, to the British colonies in the United States to help them gain independence from Great Britain.
The Alcazabar is a palatial fortification of Moorish construction and is the best-preserved alcazaba (from the Arabic al-qasbah, قصبة, meaning “citadel”) in Spain. It comprises a series of pathways and portals, that lead to enclosures with ornate gardens and elaborate fountains. The magnificent Castillo de Gibralfaro sits high on a hill above (and accessible from) the east end of the Alhameda Gardens, it dates back to the 10th century, has well restored ramparts that can be walked around, and offer panoramic views of the city and port.
The artery of historic centre is the elegant ‘Calle Marqués de Larios’ with its plethora of designer shops and ice cream parlours, leading to the grand Plaza de la Constitución – the hub of Málaga’s life since the time of the reconquest. This is surrounded by a maze of narrow pedestrian streets, which are home to a variety of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. The Carmen Thyssen and Picasso museums offer contrasting respites from the city (and summer heat) boasting art collections that are said to rival those of Madrid. Also worth a visit is the refurbished Museo de Málaga, recently reopened after 20 years of closure.
Beach lovers are not to be disappointed with Málaga having beaches to the east; La Malagueta, Pedregalejo and El Palo and to the west; Playa de San Andrés, Playa de Huelín and Playa de La Misericordia on the Antonio Banderas Promenade, all having numerous Chiringuitos – beachfront bars and restaurants, that specialise in tapas, salads and fresh fish (especially sardines) cooked over charcoal.